We have been expanding the Yellowstone section of our site this summer. We have a collection of friendly kid hikes here, and you can read an expanded version of each hike by clicking the link (not all expanded versions are available yet).
Duck Lake hike is found in the West Thumb area of the park in the southeast section. In fact, the trailhead is in the West Thumb Geyser Basin parking lot. (Drive to the northwest corner of the lot and there is a sign). You start by crossing the road and climbing a gentle incline.
The trail is well marked and runs about half a mile to the lake (1 mile RT). As you crest the hill, the lake comes into view through the thick trees. We were lucky enough to see a snowshoe hare along the trail, and another down by the lake, so keep your eyes open.
After cresting the hill, you drop down to the lake, which is quite large and beautiful. There were a few waterfowl on the lake, mostly Barrow’s Goldeneye, but not much other wildlife on the morning that we were there.
A nice rough sand beach opens up, and our boys immediately took off their shoes and headed for the water. Be careful, though! Dad spotted a leech, and in fact there were a lot of leeches, so the boys couldn’t wade. Still, they had fun throwing rocks and sticks into the water. The hike was very secluded, and we didn’t see a soul, either on the trail, or at the lake.
This hike is very doable by even the smallest of hikers. Our 2 year-old hiked it both ways. It would be a great first stop for those driving into the south entrance to the park.